In 1992, the then Johannesburg Civic Theatre presented writer and director Janice Honeyman’s pantomime Sinbad’s African Adventures as its end-of-year festive season attraction. Now, 30 years later – and as the 27th annual Janice Honeyman pantomime on the Nelson Mandela Theatre stage of Joburg Theatre – the ‘Panto of all Pantos’, Adventures in Pantoland, marks the finale of Joburg Theatre’s 60th Anniversary celebrations.
‘When Joburg Theatre invited me to create a brand new pantomime for its 60th anniversary, I instantly became excited and buzzing with ideas in accepting the challenge,’ says Honeyman. ‘This year’s show will be a mash-up-mega-mix of pantomimes, where ever-popular characters such as Princess Aurora, Aladdin, Snow White and Jack the Joller meet on stage with the Wicked Queen Evilina, the Abominable Uncle Abanazar, Madame Kakkeloura Khakibos and the Crooked Captain Hideosa Hook in a Quest Adventure to retain the Golden Goblet of Goodness. Adventures in Pantoland is an epic journey of traditional Good versus Evil. Obviously, good wins in the end!’
Executive producer of the show, Bernard Jay, now in his 21st consecutive pantomime collaboration with Honeyman, says that this year’s Panto will once again be the ideal family outing to the theatre. ‘With all the breath-taking spectacle, magical storytelling, over-the-top comedy and outrageous topical references that Joburg Theatre audiences have grown to expect from the annual pantomime,’ he says.
Who’s who: the cast and crew
The Panto’s all-star cast will feature (in alphabetical order) Michelle Botha, Dylan du Plessis, David Arnold Johnson, Didintle Khunou, Ilse Klink, Hlengiwe Lushaba Madlala, Carmen Pretorius, Brenda Radloff, Justin Swartz, Grant Towers and Ben Voss.
Production designer Andrew Timm – Naledi Theatre Award winner for his acclaimed designs of the pantomime Cinderella in 2021 – will be returning to transform Joburg Theatre’s state-of-the-art technology into a magical wonderland of globally travelled adventures, along with Panto veteran costume-designer Bronwen Lovegrove.
Adventures in Pantoland will be on The Mandela stage at Joburg Theatre from 6 November to 24 December 2022. Tickets from R260 are available by visiting their website or by calling 0861 670 670. Discount prices are available for groups of ten or more.